FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Ionity, the European electric vehicle charging joint venture of Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE>, BMW <BMWG.DE>, Daimler <DAIGn.DE> and Ford <F.N>, said on Monday that South Korea’s Hyundai Motor <005380.KS> had joined as a shareholder.
Ionity aims to install 400 high-speed charging stations across Europe by the end of next year in a bid to combat concerns about the range of electric vehicles, which is still considered a key factor limiting demand.
So far, the venture has installed 140 stations in 14 European countries, while a further 50 are under construction.
“The participation of new investors in Ionity is a clear signal of trust indicating that the work of our young company is already bearing fruit,” Chief Executive Michael Hajesch said in a statement.
No financial details were disclosed about Hyundai Motor’s involvement.
The announcement comes days before the Frankfurt Auto Show IAA, where sustainable driving and electric cars will take centre stage. Volkswagen will display its ID 3 electric vehicle, Porsche its Taycan electric sports car, and Mercedes-Benz its fully electric van.
Carmakers are pouring much of their cash into developing electric vehicles, while energy providers hesitate to take on responsibility for the rollout, as long as electric car sales remain too low to provide a profitable customer base.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Edmund Blair)